Dutch startup LoyaltyGrid has unveiled a solution that lets luxury brands use NFC tags embedded in product packaging to guarantee the authenticity of their products — and deliver rewards, discounts, exclusive content, invitations to special events and other incentives directly to their customers.
The company is working with PowerCoat, a subsidiary of paper products producer Arjowiggins that specialises in substrates for printed electronics, and says it is seeing “huge interest” from luxury brands since launching the service at the Luxe Pack event in Monaco in October.
“The NFC chip is very flexible and it can be applied on different packaging and any kind of paper,” strategy director Martin Palamarz explained to NFC World+. “It can be laminated directly on the pack itself, so it’s not even visible to the naked eye.
“Any kind of smartphone with an NFC reading capability can, by just tapping or scanning the NFC chips, get direct access to the content. The hardest work was making Loyalty Grid entirely web-based so there are no necessary apps that need to be downloaded.”
“On the first scan at a retail location, LoyaltyGrid recognises the pack through its unique ID and then it remembers the location of the pack itself and then asks the customer to rescan the pack once it is purchased,” Palamarz continued.
“This way we can guarantee that, without interfering with the retail environment, we know the pack has been purchased and, once the item is scanned a second time, then LoyaltyGrid unlocks rewards based on the parameters the brand has predefined.
“This way customers of a given brand can get discounts, unique content, special customised offers that are wrapped around your personal needs and preferences. It can also verify every kind of item on a unique level; every ID is unique, so therefore, when a customer scans an item, they instantly know if it’s a real and genuine item of that brand or not.
“Brands have a fantastic advantage by getting information about where products are purchased, by who and how often. They can connect to customers directly through LoyaltyGrid, they can trace their own products, they can also guarantee that their products are sold in the right environments so, that way, luxury brands have a huge benefit because they are always struggling with a lot of forgery and piracy.”
“The opportunities are endless,” Palamarz added. “First, we want to focus on how we can create and generate consumer loyalty for different kinds of luxury and high-end goods. We’ve had huge interest from a lot of brands who want to connect with us, from the luxurious industry brands to software companies.
“I can’t disclose exactly where we are with each of them but we are in discussions, in a sort of demonstration phase, as we speak now. The software is sharp and works; it’s a whole new way of engaging brands with customers but the process is pretty long to negotiate. Slowly but surely, we will get there. I think we will have a concrete project up and running within a month or two.
“We’re developing LoyaltyGrid based on requests and the interest we’re getting. We will develop LoyaltyGrid to fit different needs and, of course, the system can be adapted and branded according to any brand’s design as well so LoyaltyGrid is the platform but once implemented and activated, you can integrate it with any brand out there.”